Links 10/28/2022

Migrating monarch butterflies have started arriving in Mexico Mexico News Daily

US economy bounces back from recession territory even as storm continues to brew Sky News

The surprisingly chilled bear market FT

Facebook used to be a Big Tech giant — now Meta isn’t even in the top 20 most valuable U.S. companies CNBC. That’s a damn shame.

Wile E. Coyote Moment as Tech Goes Off the Cliff John Authers, Bloomberg

PayPal reinstates $2,500 misinformation penalty Agence France Presse (Rev Kev).


Building with nature: Can reviving a marsh save this California town from sea level rise? LA Times

Seed Giant Bayer Shortens Corn Stalks to Withstand Extreme Winds Bloomberg


Excess risk for acute myocardial infarction mortality during the COVID-19 pandemic Journal of Medical Virology (Rev Kev). From the Abstract: ” The excess death, defined as the difference between the observed and the predicted mortality rates, was most pronounced for the youngest (25–44 years) aged decedents, ranging from 23% to 34% for the youngest compared to 13%–18% for the oldest age groups.” Ulp.


Xi takes the new Standing Committee to Yan’an Sinocism

Next China: Investor Whiplash Bloomberg

China Ramps Up Lockdowns, Covid Restrictions Across Country Bloomberg

Shein Is Even Worse Than You Thought New York Magazine

Japan to citizens: Get a digital ID or health insurance gets harder The Register

The Koreas

Korean theme park developer’s bond default points to wider stress Channel News Asia

Ask a North Korean: Do North Koreans have different regional accents? NK News


Shunned by the West, Russia and Myanmar Form a Partnership of Unequals NYT


Tour Burj Al Babas, a Massive Abandoned Town of Disney-esque Castles Architectural Digest

Dear Old Blighty

Spy chiefs may be reluctant to share sensitive information with Suella Braverman, warns Lord Blunkett Evening Standard

Tory war over Suella Braverman as ‘MI5 probe’ sparks new calls for investigation The Mirror

In Britain’s inflation crisis, healthy diets are a casualty Reuters

Northern Ireland Assembly dies in ‘wake for power-sharing’ Politico

The Primrose Path Craig Murray (Chuck L).

Why the Putney Debates Still Matter Tribune

European Disunion

Dirty Russian oil tankers pile up near Singapore and Malaysia ahead of EU sanctions South China Morning Post

Don’t let Russia win, NATO chief warns US Politico

New Not So Cold War

Transcript of the Plenary Session of the 19th Annual Meeting Valdai Discussion Club. Putin’s speech.

An American in Ukraine Finds the War He’s Been Searching For NYT. First, the liberal love for fascists. Now, for mercs. It’s not a good look.

Biden Administration

U.S. Officials Had a Secret Oil Deal With the Saudis. Or So They Thought. NYT

Biden avoids radical shift in new nuclear weapons policy FT

Biden Administration Wants To Make It Easier To Seize Crypto Without Criminal Charges Forbes

White House on Ron Klain violating the Hatch Act: ‘We are not perfect’ CNN

Arnold Schwarzenegger Goads GOP in Court Over ‘Nuts’ Election Theory Bloomberg. Moore v. Harper.

Democrats en Déshabillé

The Brutal Comedy of the Withdrawn Peace Letter Matt Taibbi, TK News. From the peroration:

In this context, could anything look worse than this week’s scurrying-roach routine? If you were actively trying to convince the public you didn’t stand for anything, you couldn’t dream up something more devastating than what the CPC members just did to themselves, and their institution.

Realignment and Legitimacy

Britain and America’s electoral geographies are broken FT

How The Left Became Cheerleaders for US Imperialism Mint Press

Neo-Nazi ‘Building White Ethnostate’ in Maine Now Working With Local Extremist Group Vices

How to prevent an anti-government revolution High Country News. Eastern Oregon


Philharmonical Warfare: The Forgotten Story of the BSO’s Cold War Collaboration with the CIA Dig Bos (TF)


Elon Musk Twitter Deal Completed, CEO and CFO Immediately Fired WSJ

Elon Musk ‘fires Twitter executive’ who banned Trump as speculation mounts he could return to platform Independent. Good. The Bush and Clinton dynasties are all on Twitter, along with Obama. Proud truthtellers all!

Musk promises Twitter won’t ‘become’ free-for-all hellscape FT

These top advertisers can stop Musk’s Twitter from supercharging online radicalization Media Matters

Our Famously Free Press

Information wants to be free:


There’s a morning-after pill to prevent sexually transmitted infections Vox

Imperial Collapse Watch

Gilbert Doctorow: “The West is run by corrupt cowards!” Algérie Résistance II

Guillotine Watch

May God Save Us From Economists The New Republic

Class Warfare

Starbucks Walks Out of Union Contract Negotiations After Months of Delays In These Times

They made doors, gum and jerry cans. Ontario’s ‘essential’ workers in manufacturing accounted for more workplace COVID deaths than any other sector — even health care Toronto Star

One factory worker takes on Mexico’s powerful unions Reuters. The headline is deceptive. The “one factory worker” is starting her own union.

Chick-fil-A’s Three-Day Work Week Has Had Stunning Results The Takeout (Furzy Mouse).

Ancient Maya cities were dangerously contaminated with mercury Frontiers Science News

Antidote du jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. Wukchumni

    Biden Administration Wants To Make It Easier To Seize Crypto Without Criminal Charges Forbes
    Is this a crypto which I see before me,
    The seizure toward my hand? Come, let me clutch thee.
    I have thee not, and yet I see thee still.
    Art thou not, fatal vision, sensible
    To feeling as to sight? or art thou but
    A crypto of the mind, a false creation,
    Proceeding from the heat-oppressed brain?
    I see thee yet, in form as palpable
    As this which now I draw.

      1. JBird4049

        Nice to see the Biden Administration following the War Against (some) Drugs by finding new ways to steal. Really, it is an alternative method of fund raising by taxing money and property from people without every charging them for a crime. States, counties, cities, and towns have all avoided raising taxes while government agencies particularly the local police, the ATF, DEA, and the the FBI have found alternative funding methods. Just accuse the money of being criminal without providing evidence of the owner having committed an offense and just take it.

        And the Kleptocracy keeps on stealing, usually from the poor.

    1. John Zelnicker

      Wuk – I’m adding this to the NC Songbook even though you didn’t set it to music. it’s too good to leave out.

  2. timbers

    US economy bounces back from recession territory even as storm continues to brew Sky News

    “Much of the growth in the third quarter can be attributed to an increase in US exports, and a decrease in imports.”

    Those increased US exports would be LNG and energy going to Europe, at much higher than previous market prices. So the “growth” in the US economy is not growth in production as much as an enormous increase in profits to rich gigantic energy corporations accomplished by charging higher prices for the same product sold to working folks in the US and Europe and elsewhere.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      Around the world, most economists judge a country as being in recession after it records two consecutive quarters of economic contraction.

      The US measures recessions differently, with a group of economists at the National Bureau of Economic Research looking at a number of key indicators before announcing that the country has fallen into recession.

      Thank god “we” have “rescued” the economy from recession with massive energy (and weapons) exports that changed the numbers. Meanwhile the country has 25 days of diesel left and heating oil is being rationed in the northeast.

      I don’t know what you call it when trucks stop delivering goods because there’s no diesel fuel or people can’t heat their homes in the winter, but at least the economic theory gods have decreed that it will not be a “recession,” even though at that point a “recession” may be the preferred alternative.

      1. timbers

        In my world “bouncing back from recession territory” is this morning when the grocery clerk forgets to ring in $6 carten of eggs and $5 European block of cheese because he’s distracted fixing his error keying in 6 Kwato pears $2.49 each instead of 6 avocados $1.29 each. Do you suppose that will make it into next months economic reports?

        1. Katniss Everdeen

          I live in Florida.

          Oranges are 88 cents apiece in Walmart.

          I thank my lucky stars every day that it’s a good earnings season on wall street, the stock market is up–what–1200 points in three days, and the economy is growing.

          With such good news pouring out, who needs frickin’ oranges?

          1. notabanker

            I was in the grocery store this week, and for the first time in a long while I walked through the frozen foods section and was completely shocked at the prices. 3-4x what they were last time I looked. $17 for a frozen bag of fruit!

            I just looked at it all and said to myself, who TH is buying this stuff? The answer was no one while I was there. I seriously cannot believe that people will pay those prices.

            1. GF

              Some items at Trader Joe’s are actually cheaper in the organic version than the pesticide laden version. (Which is the way it should be being that pesticides add to the cost of food big time now.

        2. ambrit

          That cashier has been demonstrating the “supply chain issue” closest to the customer base, or is that base customers? Call it a “Financial Transaction Failure Tax” if you will.

          1. playon

            Speaking of supply chain issues — a realtor in western WA told me about a friend whose electric water heater had died. They ordered a replacement and were told it would be 6-8 week wait… that’s a long time to go without hot water.

          2. Wukchumni

            My favorite cashier @ the Winco supermarket I shop at was telling me how often he becomes the fulcrum for out of control food prices, its really bumming him out, the pouty faces casting blame.

            1. Screwball

              I make a point to talk to the cashiers at both the grocery and gas station. They all tell me the same thing. I asked the ladies at the gas station how many people come in complaining about the price of gas – “all of them.” Yes, they, many times, take the brunt of the anger. It’s a shame people take it out on them.

      2. NotTimothyGeithner

        Like the Democrats not dealing with how bad Obama was, not addressing what wealth inequality means has led them to this point where they chase after certain achievements but screw their voters along the way. They will tell people not to believe their lying eyes because ExxonMobil is doing great.

    2. TroyIA

      Hey now don’t be shortchanging Raytheon and Lockheed Martin.

      U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services

      Exports and imports of goods and services were revised for January through June 2022 to incorporate more comprehensive and updated quarterly and monthly data. In addition, exports of goods beginning with February 2022 now include military goods that were transferred from U.S.-owned stockpiles to Ukraine. Previously, these goods were recorded in exports of services.

    3. Mikel

      But has the Fed really backed down from the desire to see increased unemployment? There are still those economists and pundits in its ear about driving down wages and increasing competition for jobs…and decreasing worker bargaining power.

      1. tegnost

        Earnings are great, but they could be better…
        Wouldn’t want to leave all that money on the table, would you?

  3. Steve H.

    This tweet (based on the Alberta Wastewater tracker) alleges that in Edmonton “COVID = 1900X flu or RSV”.

    Three questions:

    : Is it true?
    : If true, is medical testing now worseless via false positive delusions?
    : If true, why aren’t we using personal pee tests instead of invasive devices?

      1. CanCyn

        Yeps… give me a nasal swab over a fecal test any day.
        It’s too bad we haven’t had enough time and resources to develop better repaid testing /s

          1. JP

            The report implies lax protocols not malicious intent. The report is from the minority staff not the committee. Pushing the scapegoat model as far as possible? Wouldn’t want anything to get on Trump.

    1. Ignacio

      If you count concentraiton in copies of genomes per gallon, let’s say. When comparing different virus bear in mind that they might not be equally stable in poo.

  4. Henry Moon Pie

    Starbucks union–

    The National Labor Relations Act is a dead end. These Starbucks workers are experiencing what is the norm. Once the union wins a certification election, the employer stalls for 12 months until it can file for decertification. Then the union has to fight all over again for certification, this time after a year of failed sabotaged negotiations.

    If the union tries to up the ante during that year with wildcat strikes, work slowdowns, sick-ins, etc., they risk losing the certification they won.

    For a union movement to succeed, it will have to ignore the NLRA and treat the NLRB as a likely adversary. And if a union is truly militant, it can expect the Feds to come after their assets under Taft-Hartley.

    1. Chas

      I especially like your last paragraph. I wonder if we will see unions adopt tactics developed by the Wobblies more than 100 years ago. When faced with recalcitrant corporations they would go out on wildcat strikes. I think wildcat strikes might be the most effective means available to convince Starbucks to negotiate seriously.

      1. Henry Moon Pie

        The courts and Taft-Hartley turned the Wagner Act into labor’s straightjacket. Until there’s a Battle of Flint II, labor will not even begin to regain the power it had 50 years ago.

        1. ambrit

          Considering the efficiency of the Police State in America today, something on the order of the Steel Union Bomb Campaign is more likely. Someone in America has to have learned the lessons from the largely successful bombing campaigns over in Irak and Afghanistan.
          Still, to carry out a bombing campaign, one needs an organized, effective, and ideologically ‘informed’ group. I do not see such yet in America today.

          1. JBird4049

            >>>Still, to carry out a bombing campaign, one needs an organized, effective, and ideologically ‘informed’ group. I do not see such yet in America today.

            Just a little more time. Kennedy quote: “Those Who Make Peaceful Revolution Impossible Will Make Violent Revolution Inevitable.”
            I’m too old and cautious, a coward, and I have a roof and food for now.

            But what will those strikers do if the strike is broken by fraudulent means with the government’s help? Stop? Somehow, I don’t think so. And suppose there are more people like me who do not have food and shelter? Does anyone really expect them to just roll over and die?

            Although the timing of the Biden Administration’s efforts to expand civil asset forfeiture is interesting. If unions and other organizations are not going to put their funds in banks, stockpiling cash and alternatives like crypto makes sense.

      2. hunkerdown

        It would be a terrible waste if they did adopt the tactics without adopting a revolutionary grand strategy to abolish capitalism. In effect, they are only lubricating it.

    2. timbers

      With a rigged system as you described, it almost makes you wanna take matters into your own hands. Then I read about Nancy’s husband today. Wonder what the motive was.

      1. Michael Ismoe

        Have you seen the prices of gelato recently? Only millionaires can afford it. Go to the source.

        Coming in the lame duck session: – Death penalty for assaulting any Congresscritter. Probably just life imprisonment if you disrupt one of their town halls.

      2. tegnost

        just like 1/6, how did they get in?

        sorry for the cynicism, but, well I’m not actually sorry, and it’s election season, the dirty bomb scheme didn’t work…what do they say about crying wolf?

        I’m happy to entertain concrete material evidence…

  5. zagonostra

    >Gilbert Doctorow: “The West is run by corrupt cowards!” Algérie Résistance II

    Excellent article, although I take issue with some parts such as:

    The mainstream media in the West carries war propaganda rather than informing the public. How do you explain the censorship of independent and critical voices?

    There is no state censorship in the West but there is massive and ubiquitous self-censorship and political correctness that renders the press docile.

    I think if you are familiar with Operation Mockingbird and have been paying attention to MSM news outlets being filled with the likes of John Brennan, revelations of certain Twitter’ers being suppressed on the behest of the WH, the whole Ivermectin debacle, etc…then I think it’s pretty obvious that it runs much, much deeper than “self-censorship.”

    Doctorow’s statement “In time present, in the United States, the political system is not answerable to the people and is distorted by Big Money” is right on the money and has been covered by NC for quite some time now.

    1. LifelongLib

      Well, if the CIA had heard of them they were probably mainstream already. They weren’t paying guys who staple mimeographs to telephone poles…

  6. The Rev Kev

    “A Secret, Failed Oil Deal: How the U.S.-Saudi Relationship Ruptured”

    ‘U.S. Officials Had a Secret Oil Deal With the Saudis. Or So They Thought.’

    I’m thinking that the sub-title explains a lot. When the Saudis announced that they were going to cut oil production by 2 million barrels, the Biden White House blew a gasket and threatened the Saudis with all manner of ‘consequences’ which went really over the top. It was hard to explain why at the time but if they were expecting that the Saudis had already agreed to a deal but backed out, then they must have felt betrayed. And nobody f*** with a Biden remember. In reading further, I saw a familiar name – Brett McGurk – who helped set this whole thing up and straight away my spiders senses lit up. The guy is pure neocon through and through and so I would really want to know what deals were arranged according to the Saudis. The guy really got his start with the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq and has gone on from there through different administrations. In short, I smell a rat-

    1. Lex

      I’m fascinated by how the US-Saudi relations catastrophe has been playing out, more so than that it is happening. Part of me wonders if there was a secret deal or if it’s just the Biden regime playing CYA for domestic consumption. Because if there was a deal in place and then KSA cut production, that’s really something. Especially given the indications that everyone else in OPEC+ was expecting a cut of 1M bbl/day and it was the Saudis who pushed for two. Apparently the time has come for everyone to f*** with a Biden.

      1. The Rev Kev

        I was wondering if it may have been an example of “group think”. That all the policy people were absolutely convinced that there actually was a deal when perhaps this was more hope than fact. But if anybody wanted to sound a word of caution in the White House, well, we saw what happened to those that suggested negotiations with Russia.

        1. Polar Socialist

          Or what if the “group” new that while there’s no deal, Saudis will yield and do as they’re told to, which is even better than a deal.

          And Saudis were sure to yield since what else can they do: go to the Russians? Have detente with Iran? And other, complex, diplomatic things…

          1. Michaelmas

            …Saudis will yield and do as they’re told to, which is even better than a deal.

            I’m not a betting man, but if I were that’s the way I’d bet thinking in DC went.

            It’d be in line with the incompetence and arrogance they’ve continuously demonstrated.

      2. Wukchumni

        And nobody f*** with a Biden remember.

        Why is ‘facilitates’ such an evil word that both of you can’t spell it out?

      3. Stephen

        Even if there was a deal, the Saudis are just doing what the west does. When the deal is no longer helpful they find a deeply moral justification firstly for abrogating it and then forgetting that there was even a deal anyway. Like NATO expansion: when we said we would not do it, we did not really mean it anyway, there was no treaty either so you should have realised we had our fingers crossed and there is a moral imperative to “protect” Eastern Europe.

      4. Robert Hahl

        Perhaps the only “deal” they had was an understanding that OPEC would not officially announce big cuts until after the US elections, which makes it especially significant they didn’t care about that at all. I think the failure to protect Saudi oil from that drone attack last year was the beginning of the end of the petrodollar, Washington just doesn’t know it yet. (Somebody has to be the last to find out.)

      5. NotTimothyGeithner

        Foreign leaders have expressed surprise at the Manchin debacle. Unlike USians they just read the Constitution to learn how the US government works, not rely on lousy movies (sorry, but Mr Smith goes to Washington is sentimentalist trash). They saw a weenie like Manchin make sure to clarify he wasn’t calling Biden a liar. Then they saw Biden give that weenie even more concessions and not make him vote for or against his constituents best interests. The public record of votes is for accountability. With Biden picking fights where he expects to win by virtue of America! Eff yeah! but not committing to effort (where is the call to help pay for this war by taxing Better Miller? ).

        I assume the jungle/garden language of Borrell is driving Euro elites behind the scenes along with some of them being total lightweights like Schultz.

        Biden was a sitting VP who bowed out of running in 2016 because a doofus like Hillary was running. Everyone knows he won’t fight for anything except when he sees an easy path.

    2. flora

      ah, that adds some color to the report. Thanks. (Is Victoria Nuland running US foreign policy in Ukr and the middle east? / heh )

    3. nippersdad

      This also happened with Germany’s Habeck over Qatar gas deals. Is there just something about the procurement process that Western pols do not understand? Maybe they have so alienated those who do know about such things that they have to send in the neocons to threaten them in place of just writing up a contract.

      1. flora

        US petro dollar is looking a bit wobbly now with the developing alternative currency arrangements in the expanding RU-East BRICs trading bloc. Suddenly, the US argument “where else ya gonna go?” is losing air. My 2 cents. (It didn’t have to be this way. Competent foreign policy over the last 30 years could have prevented this outcome, imo. )

    4. anon in so cal

      Pepe Escobar says the Saudis will announce an oil deal with China– priced in Renminbi — in the coming days,

  7. marcel

    TikTok blackout challenge
    This is one more reason of why I would forbid access to Internet in general and social networks in particular, for minors.
    We don’t allow our kids to drive, to have guns, to enter a casino or to drink alcohol.
    But we do allow them in the free-for-all underworld which is the Internet.
    In the past I have been thinking on splitting the ‘net in two parts: a ‘whitelist’ where everyone, even kids, can go, but where the publisher is 100% liable for every statement published. So most of the .gov or .edu sites can go there, or even stuff like Wikipedia or blogs with comments that are moderated prior to publication.
    And a blacklist for everything else: shopping, betting, porn, or social media or blogs with non-moderated comments. An adult-only environnement, and you’d need a “driving licence” to enter (an electronic id handed out by whatever institution after checking you are an adult.
    But governments do already spy to much on us, and surfing the web as an identified user will make things worse.
    (for those among you who think I am exagerating, ask your kids to put their phone in ‘Airplane’ mode for the next three hours, and come back to tell me they are not addicted).

    1. hunkerdown

      Airplane mode: “I picked a bad day to stop doomscrolling.”

      In the Usenet days, there was the “alt” hierarchy (alternative/adult) in which the weird and wonderful world of social creativity could take place in a self-policed environment. Thanks, Cuomo, for shutting that autonomous zone down.

      Never mind the driving license. Let users worry about censoring themselves if they must — innocence is a problem to get over, not a value to preserve. Just give them the tools to opt out of advanced reality.

      1. Robert Hahl

        I bet you would like a proposal to reduce traffic accidents that a friend of mine used to advocate. Put a ten-inch iron spike in the middle of the steering wheel.

    2. Kevin

      “An adult-only environnement”

      Agree Marcel, we seem headed in that direction.

      The only problem I see is there are very few;adults”, at least very little in the way of adult behaviour from adults these days. I see a lot of petulant children dressed as adults. When the “adults in the room” behave like spoiled children, what can we possibly expect?

      Lead by example..?(ha ha ha)

      1. hunkerdown

        It’s not that people are undeveloped; it’s that the invidious middle-stratum idea of development which you are ignorantly echoing as a virtue signal is a particular historical situation that needs to be continuously and ruthlessly interrogated, especially in light of the Puritan tradition’s ongoing attempts to infantilize and deceive the general public over the centuries.

        1. Eureka Springs

          Human beings have and will always do stupid things. Youngsters have and will find ways into the taboo.

          How about honesty?

          I drove cars, trucks, large farm tractors, combines, cotton pickers, etc., co-piloted planes, tested liquor, owned and used guns, saw porn, all of those things in a completely digital free world all before I was legally old enough to get a learners permit to drive under adult supervision.

          We can clutch-pearls and act like hiding things is possible which is saying hey we are stupid and you should be as well. Or we can stop pretending. Teach, discuss, whether young or old one can only hope people learn. Otherwise we all continue to treat each other as both dumb and the greatest potential criminal.

          Letting the stupid or disturbed define us all. That’s not working out very well.

          1. JBird4049

            >>>Letting the stupid or disturbed define us all. That’s not working out very well.

            Hey, it is working very well for those who want to control everyone else.

    3. semper loquitur

      Here’s another Tik-Tok challenge to keep the kids busy:

      TikTok challenge spurs rise in thefts of Kia, Hyundai cars

      A dangerous challenge spreading on TikTok and other social media platforms has car owners and police departments on alert across the country — challenging young teens to steal certain cars off the street using a USB cord.

      The target? Certain makes and models of 2010-2021 Kia and Hyundai vehicles that use a mechanical key, not a key fob and push-button to start the car. Investigators tell CNBC the trend started last year and the number of cars being stolen is continuing to surge across the country.

      All you need is a USB charging cable…

      1. Carolinian

        Right. I’m still mad about TikTok teaching kids how to steal my car. I bought a steering lock to use in dicey locations and serve as my DIY “immobilizer.”

        And you need a little more than a USB cable as you still have to break in the car which will set off the alarm even if you don’t break the window to do so. In theory any car can be jumped but most now have an immobilizer circuit that requires the presence of an rf dongle for the engine to work.

        1. Wukchumni

          ‘I know what you’re thinking. “Is this a six speed manual or only five?” Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement I kind of lost track myself. But being as this is a manual transmission, the most difficult car to drive in the world, and would make it difficult for you to be able to make a getaway, you’ve got to ask yourself one question: “Do I feel capable?” Well, do ya, punk?

          1. lyman alpha blob

            Our 14 year old 5-speed wouldn’t pass inspection last year without $5k in repairs, so I asked our mechanic who usually has a few vehicles for sale what he had on the lot for that amount or less that would pass.

            We wound up with a 10 year old car instead – it was a 6-speed manual and it also had a CD player! Given the way used car prices have skyrocketed in the last year, I think we got a very good deal – gained 4 years and an extra gear and at a discount to 2022 rates.

            I do love living in Anachronistan. If I break down and get one of those Justine Haupt phones, never having owned any mobile before, I hope they won’t revoke my citizenship…

          2. Anthony G Stegman

            My 5-speed 1995 Honda was stolen from a public lot a few years back. The older Hondas are very easy to steal. The engine can be started using a screwdriver instead of a key. The car was recovered 5 days later largely intact. The ignition switch was totally trashed. Interestingly enough, the car was full of stolen mail. The thief knew how to drive a stick. And I guess knew how to steal mail.

  8. zagonostra

    >Putin’s speech at the Valdai International Discussion Club meeting on 10/27/22

    Very import and wide ranging speech given by Putin yesterday. I think the video goes over 4 hrs. Here is a taste:

    And what is happening now? At one time, the Nazis reached the point of burning books, and now the Western “guardians of liberalism and progress” have reached the point of banning Dostoyevsky and Tchaikovsky. The so-called “cancel culture” and in reality – as we said many times – the real cancellation of culture is eradicating everything that is alive and creative and stifles free thought in all areas, be it economics, politics or culture.

    Today, liberal ideology itself has changed beyond recognition. If initially, classic liberalism was understood to mean the freedom of every person to do and say as they pleased, in the 20th century the liberals started saying that the so-called open society had enemies and that the freedom of these enemies could and should be restricted if not cancelled. It has reached the absurd point where any alternative opinion is declared subversive propaganda and a threat to democracy…

    Fyodor Dostoyevsky prophetically foretold all this back in the 19th century. One of the characters of his novel Demons, the nihilist Shigalev, described the bright future he imagined in the following way: “Emerging from boundless freedom, I conclude with boundless despotism.” This is what our Western opponents have come to. Another character of the novel, Pyotr Verkhovensky echoes him, talking about the need for universal treason, reporting and spying, and claiming that society does not need talents or greater abilities: “Cicero’s tongue is cut out, Copernicus has his eyes gouged out and Shakespeare is stoned.” This is what our Western opponents are arriving at. What is this if not Western cancel culture?

    These were great thinkers and, frankly, I am grateful to my aides for finding these quotes.

    (I don’t want to get NC in trouble by linking directly to the Kremlin website, but video/transcript is easy enough to find/google)

  9. The Rev Kev

    I’m looking at the kid in today’s Antidote du jour and it is like he is saying something-

    ‘This is how I start my day. How did you start yours?’

    1. Wukchumni

      Down under, down Mexico way, you’ll still see 1 horsepower vehicles being used to get around little towns and its a bit striking for nobody really does that in the USA.

      We have several hundred horses here in tiny town, and as far as I can tell, they never get ridden all that much.

      Half ton pets that’ll eat you out of house and home, and should they up and die on you, a friend has a backhoe and performs last rites by digging a hole deep enough to bury Mr. Ed.

      It ain’t like a burial @ sea with a goldfish…

      1. The Rev Kev

        Tell me about it. We have had to call in a backhoe several times on our block and I tell the wife that we have now our own Pet Cemetery – but with horses. You may think that it is a bad day when you have to put down a pet cat or dog but doing so for a horse is no easier.

      2. Mark Gisleson

        There are better ways of disposing of dead large animals than burial. Hard to see why a horse no one ever bothered to ride shouldn’t be rendered and turned into pet food. Soylent Green used to be the rule for horses, not the exception.

        And yes, when I pass on please feel free to recycle me.

        1. t

          Almost everything used for horses, really almost everything you can buy in a feed store, says “Not to be used on animals intended for food.” I assume people buy pinkeye treatments and other OTC meds for cattle and meat goats all the time. Seems like something to look into but I prefer not knowing.

        2. Wukchumni

          I have no idea how Mr Ed could be turned into Alpo around these parts, but parts are parts of course of course and perhaps it could be done, but not easily.

          And then there’s the idea of somehow loading the carcass onto a big enough truck and driving it 75-100 miles to an equine abattoir that’s a bit daunting, if one actually exists, that is.

          1. Mark Gisleson

            Rendering plants pick up the dead animals for you, are quite used to winching large animals who’ve gone into rigor mortis. The old business model was they’d pick it up for free but no clue what the arrangement is these days.

            You can use this website to find out if there is a rendering plant anywhere near you but it’s in fact not likely. If the second map on that page is accurate, almost all rendering plants in the US are in the upper midwest (where I am), a few in the upper mideast and one NE of San Francisco.

            Casual googling mentions mad cow and fear of contamination as having closed many facilities. My family got out of livestock (shortly after I left the farm…hmmm) so I’m not at all up to date on this and frankly suspect much rendering work now down in-house by major cattle producers. Not something they like to talk about.

      3. Carolinian

        My friend who lives in Phoenix also lived there years ago and says it was common to see horse riders on the streets. Now it would be like that old TV show where the cowboy goes to Manhattan.

      4. Anthony G Stegman

        Packers horses have been known to die on Kearsarge Pass in the Sierra Nevada. The packers sometimes dynamite the remains, spreading remains far and wide.

  10. Wukchumni

    From Putin’s speech:

    And what is happening now? At one time, the Nazis reached the point of burning books, and now the Western “guardians of liberalism and progress” have reached the point of banning Dostoyevsky and Tchaikovsky. The so-called “cancel culture” and in reality – as we said many times – the real cancellation of culture is eradicating everything that is alive and creative and stifles free thought in all areas, be it economics, politics or culture.

    Putin is Isaac Newton. to Biden riding a donkey, tilting @ win mills.

    I’ll e-mail the link to a few still enamored with the Democrat party, and a likely response will be, ‘I bet you watch Tucker Carlson, too!’

    I agree that two times two makes four is an excellent thing; but if we are dispensing praise, then two times two makes five is sometimes a most charming little thing as well.


    TCHAIKOVSKY – Symphony no. 6 (Pathétique) – Herbert von Karajan & Wiener Philharmonic

    1. Bruno

      Of all recordings, why do you promote the one from someone who had been a NASD partiegenoss throughout the Third Reich?

      1. ambrit

        Haven’t you heard? Now, the old NSDAP has been rehabilitated! Just ask Washington, or Brussels.
        I propose that the upcoming importation of defeated ‘Nasties’ into America be rendered as “Operation Papercut.”

          1. orlbucfan

            Tchaikovsky was one of the greatest classical composers who ever lived. He’s immortalized for his iconic scores in classical ballet alone. His life in Russia was tragic. He was gay, and lived there in the 19th century. Homophobia was a death sentence if caught. It’s still alive and well in the 21st century.

            1. JBird4049

              When I was a kid, being gay could get you dead, but trying to censor Russian music and literature would have been considered insanity. Now that I am an adult, being gay is fine, which is fabulous, but people are trying to cancel our past for current reasons like Putin and that is insane. I could say evil and nihilistic, but I think insanity is the closest. Hey, maybe some will suggest a Year Zero and “restarting” everything.

      2. Sailor Bud

        Eh, I separate art from artist on that one until someone proves me wrong. I don’t love Karajan, but I do love much of his conducting through the 60s & 70s, and I think Wukchumni chose well.

        He was a globalist striver and jet-setter all his life, but hardly a documented Nazi of ideological type, unless you want to prove otherwise (good luck). His second wife was one-quarter Jewish, which was admittedly his defense against all such claims. He married that heiress in 1942. I think his Nazi affiliation was opportunism at worst, in order to bag a good conductor job, especially considering his later career and life.

        Norman Lebrecht assigns special blame for him having ruined classical music through his money and power lust, and while I don’t go that far, I see a better argument against him there than the Nazi one.

  11. Colonel Smithers

    Thank you, Lambert, especially for the link to Craig Murray’s post.

    I live in the middle of Rothschild country, aka the Vale of Aylesbury (formerly a Rothschild fiefdom in the Commons), and remember the sale of Mentmore and some, but not all, of its treasures in the late 1970s.

    Readers are aware, from the Rev Kev’s comments, about Scotty from Marketing. Rishi is also from marketing. He met his heiress wife at Stanford. His recruitment, following Stanford, by TCI and Theleme, both hedge funds, was motivated by their need to attract investors, including leveraging his old money connections at Winchester and Oxford.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Thank you, Colonel. Listening to the guys at the Duran and other articles that I have read, In think that he will prove a disaster for the UK and concur with Mercouris that he will be gone within a year. A major reason alone for that is that the Tories will try to find somebody else more electable for the UK 2024 general election and by then there will be little good associated with Rishi. In fact, I would not be surprised to read of him being referred to in a year’s time as a ‘Scumdog Billionaire’. It seems that both Labour and the Conservatives have been far too successful in weeding out any decent leaders that might provide opposition to their shared vision of how the UK should be run.

    2. Eclair

      Thank you, Colonel. Looking at pics of all those Stately Homes, crammed with gilded furniture, porcelains, tapestries, paintings and wondering, ‘Where did all that money come from?’ Black slaves on sugar plantations? Indians growing and producing opium for the China trade? Well, that, and marrying American heiresses.

      1. ambrit

        Added to which is the question; “Where did those American Heiresses get their money from?” Oh, off the top of my pointy little head: from black slaves on cotton plantations, and later, “poor” white and now “free’ black sharecroppers on the same former plantation lands; overworked and underpaid miners in the coal mines, and the copper mines, and the gold and silver mines, and the Patagonian beefsteak mines; and the ruthlessly exploited sweat shop workers in the mills and factories throughout the land, etc. etc.
        Aristocrats come in all shapes and sizes, but generally share a common disdain for “ordinary” people.

        1. Yves Smith

          I don’t think Brits were big on marrying Southerners. The South was spent during the period when cross-Atlantic travel was frequent and comfortable enough for “Muricans to go to balls in England and vice versa.

          Late 1800s big money was the fur trade (the Astors), railroad stock speculation, steel, and then oil. Old money would have been New England whalers who held on to it, ship builders.

            1. Colonel Smithers

              Thank you.

              The Washington family made money from wool in the south midlands. The Spencers and Churchills and ancestors of von der Leyen did, too. The Spencers and Churchills made marital alliances.

      2. Colonel Smithers

        Thank you, Eclair.

        The Primrose fortune derives from agriculture and coal in Scotland. It was augmented by the finance and commodities, including opium, fortune of Hannah Rothschild.

    3. MaryLand

      Rishi’s wife is one of two heirs to her parents’ fortune derived from Infosys. They are the founders and developers of Infosys a technology company not without controversies. In October 2022, her dad’s net worth was estimated to be $4.5 billion.

      1. Colonel Smithers

        Thank you, M.

        In the past fortnight, it has often been reported that the new PM is wealthier than the king. Having worked at Coutts and been educated alongside the British elite and later worked with and for them, I can say they enjoy this sort of reporting and a chuckle. I do, too.

  12. semper loquitur

    re: The Adults in the Room

    New Pilot Reports of UFO Sightings – NBC News Today show

    and here is a study of UFO acceleration physics:

    Estimating Flight Characteristics of Anomalous Unidentified Aerial Vehicles

    Several Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP) encountered by military, commercial, and civilian aircraft have been reported to be structured craft that exhibit ‘impossible’ flight characteristics. We consider a handful of well-documented encounters, including the 2004 encounters with the Nimitz Carrier Group off the coast of California, and estimate lower bounds on the accelerations exhibited by the craft during the observed maneuvers. Estimated accelerations range from almost 100g to 1000s of gs with no observed air disturbance, no sonic booms, and no evidence of excessive heat commensurate with even the minimal estimated energies. In accordance with observations, the estimated parameters describing the behavior of these craft are both anomalous and surprising. The extreme estimated flight characteristics reveal that these observations are either fabricated or seriously in error, or that these craft exhibit technology far more advanced than any known craft on Earth. In many cases, the number and quality of witnesses, the variety of roles they played in the encounters, and the equipment used to track and record the craft favor the latter hypothesis that these are indeed technologically advanced craft. The observed flight characteristics of these craft are consistent with the flight characteristics required for interstellar travel, i.e., if these observed accelerations were sustainable in space, then these craft could easily reach relativistic speeds within a matter of minutes to hours and cover interstellar distances in a matter of days to weeks, proper time.

    This MDPI looks like an interesting resource:

    A pioneer in scholarly, open access publishing, MDPI has supported academic communities since 1996. Based in Basel, Switzerland, MDPI has the mission to foster open scientific exchange in all forms, across all disciplines.

    Our 413 diverse and open access journals, including 404 peer-reviewed journals and 9 conference journals, are supported by more than 115,000 academic experts who share our mission, values, and commitment to providing high-quality service for our authors. We serve scholars from around the world to ensure the latest research is freely available and all content is distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY).

    MDPI publishes over 98 journals that are ranked as high impact within their fields. To view the current impact factors for MDPI journals (according to the Journal Citation Reports), please visit our yearly announcement page here.

    With additional offices in Beijing, Wuhan, Tianjin and Nanjing (China), Barcelona (Spain), Belgrade and Novi Sad (Serbia), Manchester (UK), Tokyo (Japan), Cluj and Bucharest (Romania), Toronto (Canada), Kraków (Poland), Singapore (Singapore) and Bangkok (Thailand), MDPI has published the research of more than 330,000 individual authors and our journals receive more than 25 million monthly webpage views.

    1. jrkrideau

      MDPI has an extremely interesting entry it Beall’s List.

      Excluded – decide after reading

      Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI) – I decided not to include MDPI on the list itself. However, I would urge anyone that wants to publish with this publisher to thoroughly read this wiki article detailing their possible ethical/publishing problems, and a recent article discussing their growth.

      1. semper loquitur

        Thanks for that clarifying reference, I went to Wiki and MDPI has had a slew of editors quit over ethical issues. Plus a lot of criticism from scientists:

        “they note that many academics boycott MDPI and describe it as a “money machine” based in China with “a small ‘artificial’ office in Switzerland.”[2] The head and two members of the National Publication Committee of Norway stated that they shared Fosso’s and Nøland’s concerns over MDPI and described it as a “borderline publisher” that “deftly makes sure not to fall in the ‘predatory publisher’ category” and that “superficially meets the criteria” for level 1 status.[49] In 2021 Fosso and Nøland argued that MDPI dilutes research by playing on academics’ “vanity and desire to embellish their CV,” and has “an aggressive focus” on “flooding the market with rapidly published special issues motivated purely by profit.”[50] Scientists Anders Skyrud Danielsen and Lars Mølgaard Saxhaug referred to MDPI as a “money machine fraud operation.”

  13. semper loquitur

    Here’s a fun takedown of Richard Feynman on Medium:

    Is Every Richard Feynman Quote Really Profound and Wise?

    Why do so many of Richard Feynman’s fans believe that every sentence he ever uttered was profound and deep and worth quoting at every opportunity? In addition, why do so many of Feynman’s words end up in memes and images, and which are then spread around Facebook and Twitter like confetti?

    Whenever I read about Feynman, I always get the sense I would have liked to have punched him in the face.

    1. Wukchumni

      One time I was in the men’s room of the bar and there was a guy at the urinal. He was kind of drunk, and said to me in a mean-sounding voice, “I don’t like your face. I think I’ll push it in.”

      I was scared green. I replied in an equally mean voice, “Get out of my way, or I’ll pee right through ya!”


      1. semper loquitur

        The book I’d like to read would be about all the times somebody shut Feynman down. Unsung heroes. My undergraduate philosophy mentor would have crushed him like a soda can. He had more than one physicist’s head atop his mantlepiece…

        1. Wukchumni

          Why not read his personal correspondence to get a better feel for the man, instead of hurling violent bromides in his general direction?

          Perfectly Reasonable Deviations From the Beaten Track: The Letters of Richard P. Feynman

          He’s my kind of genius, the merry prankster variety.

          1. semper loquitur

            Fair enough, I’m just going off of everything I ever read about him, which are mostly his balloon-light quotes about matters he didn’t understand. There is a breed of celebrity physicist: Feynman, DeGrasse Tyson, Sean Carroll, Sabine Hossenfelder, Michio Kaku, and Steven Hawking who, while at least capable if not talented in their field, wander off the preserve and make claims about which they obviously don’t have the faintest glimmer of what is entailed. Mostly concerning the boundaries of scientific investigation, the nature of God, free will, epistemology, and metaphysics.

            Take Hawking’s claim that there is no role for God to play in the universe, if I recall correctly this is what he finished up his book A Brief History of Time with, although to be clear I haven’t read the book in over 25 years or so. I’ve heard it echoed in Carroll’s, the Master of the Multiverse, inane claim that God is not a Good Theory

            This is so patently dumb. God is not reducible to a fu(king theory. Any notion of a God cannot be approached via science, or scientific reasoning. By definition, the creator of the Cosmos would be beyond and about It’s creation, not contained within it. It’s like looking for the inventor of the computer by cracking open the chassis of your laptop and poking around. You can find clues to the creator’s nature but not the entire creator. Glimmers and fragments, but never the entire picture.

            It’s an epistemic error and displays a confusion over metaphysics, which the celeb physicist dabbles in unknowingly time and again. It’s also scientism, the notion that science is the best and only sources of knowledge, which the wielder often swings about without realizes that he or she is actually making philosophical claims.

            Don’t get me started on their blathering about the nature of consciousness.

            1. Wukchumni

              While not ‘balloon-light,’ this quote by Feynman relates to the here and now with our up up and away everything bubble & economy.

              Looking back at the worst times, it always seems that they were times in which there were people who believed with absolute faith and absolute dogmatism in something. And they were so serious in this matter that they insisted that the rest of the world agree with them. And then they would do things that were directly inconsistent with their own beliefs in order to maintain that what they said was true.

              1. semper loquitur

                “Looking back at the worst times, it always seems that they were times in which there were people who believed with absolute faith and absolute dogmatism in something. And they were so serious in this matter that they insisted that the rest of the world agree with them. And then they would do things that were directly inconsistent with their own beliefs in order to maintain that what they said was true.”

                Yep, a lot of this applies to the list of notables I provided above. And I’m not sure what he means by the “worst of times”, I think dogmatism and intellectual authoritarianism are pretty steady themes throughout human history. Even in times of noetic ferment, say like the Renaissance, I’d bet that those who sought to challenge the status quo were far outnumbered by those who sought to maintain it.

                But I have to eat my words a bit, in all honesty. I came across this brief discussion of Feynman on the idea of God:


                and I agree fully.

            2. lyman alpha blob

              Physics ain’t philosophy. I’ve read the physicists you mention extensively, and while I never got past an undergrad physics minor, I can assure you they have more than a faint glimmer of understanding of the subject matter. They don’t even agree with each other – Hossenfelder would have many disagreements with Kaku and Carroll for example. But that’s how science works – research and disagreement and argument until you get to the best understanding of a natural phenomenon as you can. And then it all changes again once new discoveries are made.

              Will we ever know anything for sure once and for all? Probably not. According to David Hume’s argument which I learned about via Bertrand Russell, we can’t ever really prove anything scientifically. The best we can do is make predictions based on what’s happened in the past and extrapolate from there, under the assumption that things will more or less stay the same. But the laws of physics could change tomorrow. We find it unlikely based on our rather limited research as a species, but it is possible. The truth is all we are able to really do is look through that glass darkly.

              One of my favorite things to read about is time. You can check out Lee Smolin and Julian Barbour and get completely different and opposite reads on how it all works, whether time is fundamental or it isn’t. And given your comments, you might really enjoy this book by physicist Richard Muller – Now:The Physics of Time. For a non-fiction book, it does have a pretty surprising ending and the title is a bit of a misnomer and he doesn’t really break any new ground. Muller was maybe best known for being a climate change skeptic until he did his own research and changed his mind! Near the end of Now he gets into some epistemology and starts discussing the limits of science and even waxes a bit religious, although he doesn’t call it that. I suspect that was the real gist of the whole book and I found it surprisingly reassuring to find a scientist bringing up this subject.

              We’ll never know everything – not the scientists or the philosophers – and that’s OK. It’s the wonder of it all that makes life interesting. If it’s a clear night tonight, maybe I’ll fire up my telescope and aim it out toward Jupiter and Saturn, perhaps sighting the chrono synclastic infundibulum ;)

              1. semper loquitur

                Thank you for the reference. I do understand that they have more than a glimmering of their respective fields. It’s when they meander that I have a reaction.

            3. Candyman

              Sean Carrol’s statement that “God is not a good theory” does not refer to whether theories about God are “good” or not; rather it refers to his belief that invoking God as the explanation for a given theory is not good, because it is unscientific. Otherwise the answer to all scientific questions would be “because God”.

              1. semper loquitur

                Funny, because that’s exactly what he does at the beginning of this talk he gave:


                At :53 he claims that there are ideas about God that play the role of scientific theory and can be judged accordingly. He goes on to note that many believers think the same way. If that is the case, both he and those believers are incorrect. When God enters into the discussion, you are no longer in the realm of scientific theory, even if there are elements of scientific theory in that discussion, even if the specific claims made take the form of scientific theory. It’s even beyond metaphysics, for that matter, as the idea of God is incomprehensible and can only be approached through either inadequate metaphor. (Or via emissary. ;) )

                At 1:15 he concretely affirms that God is a theory, even noting that the school changed this original title of he talk to that of “God is not a Good Theory”. God is not a theory, God is beyond all such theorizing. By definition.

                At 1:50 he proposes to “get around” the notion that the idea of God is not amenable to theoretical inquiry by stating he is using a conception of theory that is broader than that provided by any philosophy of science. This is again a mistake, no theory is broad enough to encompass that which encompasses everything, by definition.

                At 2:03 he proposes that God is either true or false. This is incorrect. God is the thing that can be true AND false, given that It is not bounded by any notion of logic, metaphysics, reasoning, or physical possibility.

                He notes that one of the “weaknesses” of the theory of God is that there are so many definitions of It that it’s impossible to know where to start. He provides a handy chart. But that question is easy. You start with all of them. God is not bound by any epistemic system, for that matter any philosophical conceptions, by definition. We cannot know something that encompasses us and everything else. We can only marvel. God is a mystery. Even faith is unwarranted. Uncertainty is the only reasonable position.

                He admits at one point that he is not a trained theologian. Perhaps he should have talked to one first. Then again, given the state of organized religion, maybe not.

          2. Jeff W

            From this review of Perfectly Reasonable Deviations From the Beaten Track: The Letters of Richard P. Feynman:

            When a representative for the USSR invited Richard Feynman to a physics conference in that country, he wrote back this letter:

            Thank you very much for your invitation to the Dubna Conference. I have thought a good deal about the matter and would have liked to go. However, I believe I would feel uncomfortable at a scientific conference in a country whose government respects neither freedom of opinion of science, nor the value of objectivity, nor the desire of many of its scientist citizens to visit scientists in other countries. (p. 143)

            This is one of many gems in Perfectly Reasonable Deviations from the Beaten Track: The Letters of Richard P. Feynman.

            Whether or not one thinks Feynman was right to decline the invitation (or right to decline it in the way that he did), I can’t figure out why this letter, other than being mildly interesting, would be a “gem”—it seems like a pretty straightforward statement by Feynman of why he would be “uncomfortable” attending the conference.

            The guy might have been “profound” and “wise” and, as Paul Austin Murphy says, his fans might believe that “every sentence he ever uttered was profound and deep and worth quoting at every opportunity.” And he could have been “a merry prankster” and, as Peter Woit, quoted in Murphy’s piece, said someone concerned with “showing how much smarter he was than someone else.”

    2. Maxwell Johnston

      Feynman’s performance during the investigation of the first space shuttle crash (Challenger in early 1986), during which he singlehandedly criticized NASA and demonstrated the problem with the o-rings using language a child could understand, was a tour de force. Here is a short video clip (plenty of others out there):

      He was already ill with the cancer that would carry him away in 1988, but he refused to compromise with the other members of the Rogers Commission and insisted on pursuing the truth. “For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled.” Words to memorize and take to heart. Quite a guy.

  14. notabanker

    “These top advertisers can stop Musk’s twitter….”

    They are saying it out loud now. Just click on the link for the 20 firms that control your “free speech”. Although twitter was never “free” and speech is limited to 140 characters. Unless you’re special.

    1. hunkerdown

      He could also switch off the entire intelligentsia and NAFO until the election, and then they’d be absolutely familyblogged.

    2. Wukchumni

      For fans of Chinese numerology. Musk in paying $44* billion for Twitter, evoked ‘Death-Death’ for those of you at home in the middle kingdom, playing along.

      * Pistol Pete coulda picked any other number, but no.

      1. Mark Gisleson

        So an $88 billion purchase price would have been “super lucky”?

        Well, for Jack Dorsey I guess that would be true.

      2. Joe Renter

        In Esoteric philosophy 4 is equated with the 4th kingdom in nature which is the human, as well as the 4th ray which is “harmony through conflict”. As if anyone reading this cares about too much. Perhaps I am wrong.

    3. The Rev Kev

      This is both funny and true this tweet and it’s linked page image-

      ‘Max Blumenthal
      Twitter employees whine that they won’t be able to artificially boost hashtags supporting regime change in Iran and the Ukrainian proxy war, or help astroturf “social movements” ‘

  15. Bugs

    “An American in Ukraine Finds the War He’s Been Searching For, NYT”

    Somehow I knew that if I looked closely at the photos of the merc’s trainees in the article that I’d find some kind of fascist insignia. And, the winner is: 5th photo down, a big SS Totenkopf on a British merc’s cap. Never fails.

    1. Dr. John Carpenter

      Remember when all the good thinking liberals were losing their minds over bros making the “ok” hand sign in pics and how it was really some secret N@zi hand symbol that was leading to the downfall of democracy? That seems so very long ago now…

  16. The Rev Kev

    “An American in Ukraine Finds the War He’s Been Searching For”

    Saw this guy being interviewed and wondered what the deal was with him. Looking for redemption in the Ukraine perhaps for his past career? Does he ever meet the Azov guys and like groups and wonder about them? He trains groups of men for a coupla days and then they go into combat when to make an effective soldier, you need a coupla months. And he knows it. I think that when the time comes to return home, he will be haunted by yet more memories of yet another lost war. But when he opines that he ‘wants America to go all in’ – aka World War Three – you can see that he has lost the plot.

    1. semper loquitur

      The line “military start-up” was the tell for me. The author is combining the neoliberal demiurge myth of the entrepreneur with the fantasy of the hard-bitten, seasoned soldier with a heart of gold who is fighting the good war for truth and justice. Pure Pr0n for the $hit-lib desk jockeys.

        1. semper loquitur

          Ah, this must be the template for those on the Right who look to Elon Musk to be the guardian of free speech on Twitter. I’ve read Youtube comments celebrating “our” ownership of the platform. Just as the notion of a moral businessman belies the intrinsically exploitive nature of business, the notion of free speech on a privately owned social media service belies the reality of control and suppression of content that service implies. In practical terms, I want to see how many Tweets about Tesla fatalities and fires are allowed to go around.

          1. hunkerdown

            More the Ctrl-Left. Moral entrepreneurship is the tendency to “develop” existing or potential social relations (social nature) into new moral norms (social property) with their attendant rewards ($ but also social rental streams e.g. celebrity, tenure, or the invidious label of “Leader”). It’s named by analogy to the compulsive generation of extractive systems, for which serial business entrepreneurs are known.

            In short, it’s the activity of people applying the capitalist mode of production to action within the moral sphere.

            That kind of “moral entrepreneurship” you mentioned, that which the streamer kids are vicariously wishing they mattered enough to be part of, is basic-batch Jesus-fish dispensationalism. I hold no illusions that Elon will bring freeze peach to Twitter, but if he stops a war and damages the intelligentsia, society may well have gotten its $44 billion worth.

            1. semper loquitur

              Thanks for laying this out. I should have guessed that with the introduction of the word “moral” the lib-progs would start oozing out of the woodwork. I too am happy to settle for Elon the Disruptor versus Elon the Liberator, seems much more likely. Sad days when we rely on these buffoons for a modicum of comfort.

    2. LifelongLib

      I’ve never been in the military, but FWIW from a glance around the web U.S. Army soldiers get about 6 months of training (basic + specialty) before being sent to the infantry. Russian Army soldiers are supposed to get at least 4 months. Two days is ridiculous.

      1. Procopius

        there’s a law that U.S. soldiers must be trained for six months before they can be deployed overseas. It comes from the Korean War, when in the face of the invasion by North Korea we were shipping raw recruits to slaughter. I worked for a Warrant Officer in Vietnam, who had been drafted in the early days of Korea, and had become his company’s First Sergeant within a year. All the others had been killed off.

  17. Henry Moon Pie

    Just a Zeitgeist note:

    The CNBC crowd was quite freaked out about the break-in at the Pelosis and husband Paul winding up in the hospital again. Shocking that one of them could be personally impacted by a crime they weren’t committing. The group quickly broke down into Red/Blue teams, but not a one of them even considered that when the billionaires and their minions are tightening the screws yet again, some of the blowback might actually hit upper crust PMCs.

    These people have a male teenager’s sense of invulnerability.

      1. The Rev Kev

        With the pig’s head, maybe the message to Pelosi is that they think that she has been telling too many ‘porkies’.

    1. lyman alpha blob

      for the guillotine watch –

      and do note in the article that Biden called to express his support and “The President continues to condemn all violence..” Sounds like FightinJoe might want to check the definition of that word “all”…

      not much info yet, but I’d like to think this wasn’t just a random break in. If the US is going all-in on the hyper violence to solve problems, the least the perps could do is pick the right targets.

        1. Mikel

          This. With all the increased threats to politicians, I doubt they would be penny pinching on security.
          And most violent attacks are still tracked to someone who knew the victim.

          1. Screwball

            Especially after the hog’s head incident, and the threats as you say. I am just a nobody living in Cornhole and I have 4 security cameras to watch the entire perimeter of my property.

            I would think they have security camera’s all over the place. And if they didn’t, I would consider them pretty damn stupid.

      1. hunkerdown

        Paul is probably the least impactful person anyone could have gone after. I think it’s more related to insider trading than pure politics, or an inside family job sold as GOTV.

          1. spud

            could be a false flag that will be used in the future for martial law or election cancellations, or a attempt at painting trump supporters as violent, vote for use.

          2. the last D

            Very good. Now, all together,,say ‘shameless.’ And again, and say it like you mean it, ‘shameless.’ Sehr gut.

  18. chris

    Sharing this link from Slate’s recent discussion of the NAEP results because Lambert and others asked about what public education and having kids in school is like in the “post-pandemic” period.

    In a nut shell, it all feels very, very, different from December 2019. For starters, parents in my area aren’t allowed to volunteer like we used to because of COVID concerns. Kids also attend at a zero risk tolerance for illness – if your kid is feeling faint, develops a cough, or has any of a variety of “COVID like indications” they are immediately sent to the nurse’s office and you have to pick them up immediately. The requirement is 30 minutes. Which is tough for working parents to do. The imposition of chromebooks in every class (even PE!) is weird and annoying. I have to be the IT department for my kids because the public school system offers no assistance so if the latest app du jour doesn’t work because of something on my network and that something is preventing my kids from completing their assignments it’s my problem to solve. Most classes have decided to stop providing physical books for things. In some cases I just buy my kids the books they need. I also help them with tutoring opportunities and other extracurricular activities to reinforce what they’re missing in school because the teachers are overwhelmed and underfunded.

    The overwhelmed bit is the most disturbing to me. That’s because it’s coming from kids who have no idea how to behave anymore. They don’t know how to act in class. They’re disruptive. They constantly have their phones out. They don’t know how to write. They don’t feel the need to sit and listen. The at grade and below grade classes in my well to do neighborhood have devolved into holding pens for feral kids during the school day.

    So what has happened is the smart kids who are holding their lives together with help from parents and/or a significant lack of challenges in their lives have migrated to GT/Honors/AP/Community College accelerated/Learning Academies. They’re essentially in schools within schools that keep the barbarians out. In those programs, you find kids doing the kind of academic writing and reading that the college professor was lamenting was absent the other day. Like, the kids will have an in class essay assignment where they’re told a general topic before class, and upon entering class receive a packet of information that they need to then analyze and write a 3-5 paragraph essay about on one of several questions in 55 minutes. These kids typically have no problem transitioning to college when they graduate. And it won’t surprise you to hear that they are mostly from wealthy families.

    The school board battles in my area are still intense. Now that we’re all living with the aftershock of the pandemic and trying to figure out what to do with so many challenged kids we’re seeing competing proposals about what to do. On the one hand, we have some school board members who want to change everything. Like do away with local schools in favor of extensive busing…which is difficult with a shortage of bus drivers and remember that 30 minute pick up requirement if your kid is sick? Or they want to institute new policies to replace SROs…but they also want zero tolerance for aggression or acting out at school and I guess they expect the teachers to handle violent kids? And we still hear that our local schools are nowhere near diverse enough even though 50% of the student population come from minority groups. The teachers are burnt out and stressed.

    Most parents with resources are trying to figure out how to get their kids out of the public school system. For my kids, my wife and I looked at the current slate of candidates and proposals and saw that all of our kids will have graduated by the time they take effect. So we will vote our conscience and not care if the crazy keeps taking over. There’s only so much time and energy we have to fight parents who want things that won’t solve the problems or parents who won’t/can’t discipline their kids.

    I think we won’t get past this until employers commit to supporting education. Because right now I have no idea what we’re going to do in this country when the pandemic generation graduates and starts looking for work.

    1. digi_owl

      > The imposition of chromebooks in every class (even PE!) is weird and annoying. I have to be the IT department for my kids because the public school system offers no assistance

      Cloud in a nutshell. Been trying to help my parents with a smartphone app that refuse to update, and all i see are cutesy but meaningless “oops” messages. At this point the suggestion from third party sites, because first party do not even have a functioning help section, is to factory reset and start over.

      At last Win95 era hexadecimal errors were unique enough to look up…

  19. Zephyrum

    I voted my California ballot this morning, and for the first time in my life I did not vote for a single Democrat. My original plan was to continue to vote for the local Dems, but this warmongering and the collapse of the peace advocates within the party convinced me to abandon them wholesale. If you have the bad judgment to run as a Democrat you will not get my vote. Full stop.

    1. Michael Ismoe

      I beat you by two weeks. I voted third party whenever the Dems haven’t gotten them removed from the ballot and just skipped over races where both options suck. The Democrats are actually scarier than the Republicans.

    2. Mark Gisleson

      Having grown up on a working farm I always thought I had a good eye for manure but these days both parties seem to be shoveling from the same pile.

      I didn’t vote in 2020, see no reason to vote now. It’s always tempting but with electronic vote counting tabulators I have zero assurance I can undervote my ballot without having some software vote the unvoted races for me. Not voting leaves a mark they can’t erase: declining turnout can’t be blamed on the voters (not that that will stop the swells from punching down and blame-shifting afterwards).

      1. MaryLand

        On my ballot it said if you leave one race unvoted it invalidates the entire ballot. They do allow a space for a write in, so adding Bozo the Clown does send a bit of a message.

        1. Wukchumni

          I’ve cast my Presidential vote for Wink Martindale the past couple of elections, with the thought being that you get an aged tv game show host and an NFL defensive coordinator in a 2 for 1 deal.

        2. marym

          That sounds disturbing I can’t find any information indicating that undervoting is illegal in any state, and I find many general and particular state references to it being legal.

        3. Mark Gisleson

          FindLaw’s subhead on this is “There’s nothing illegal or wrong about leaving some spaces on a ballot blank. By law, all ballots are to be counted whether or not they’re completed.”

          Search revealed nothing related to this in Maryland election law but then again, that seems to be exactly the kind of query Google never has an answer for these days.

          I would encourage you to do some investigation on this. Call the election office and ask them! If they answer the phone, they can answer that question (getting an election office to answer the phones just before an election isn’t always easy). Most GOTV orgs will answer your questions with whatever it takes to get you to show up to vote (assuming it’s too late for them to assist you with an absentee ballot ; )

    3. Dr. John Carpenter

      My ballot is still sitting on my desk under a pile of other junk. I can’t bring myself to fill it out, but I can’t bring myself to run it through the shredder either. I need to see if there’s any third parties that I can write in, but I’m not even sure anyone is bothering, aside from the usual libertarian here and there. Probably not worth the trouble.

      1. BillS

        Mail it in with the write in “NOTA”. That’s what I did. The choice for me were the usual GOP morons and CIA demorats – so I participated in the charade voting for no one. It makes no difference who you choose, anyway!

    4. kate

      My son, who lives with me while attending the nearby California state college, has always been a committed young leftist. Yesterday, I was encouraging him to vote, if only to help elect an old friend running for mayor; his reply was, “That depends: is he tough enough on crime?”
      Last week it was his sister’s turn to have her catalytic converter stolen from our street. No one in authority is acting to stem the rampant theft; my daughter will be scrambling to borrow cars until at least February, due to shortage of cats.

      It fascinates me to see political disillusion take place so thoroughly and with such extreme rapidity. The people are indeed fed up.

      1. Wukchumni

        While a cat has 4 on the floor and the engine purrs, you can hardly count on them in a pinch and they get saddle sore so quickly…

        1. ambrit

          Also, some of the faster models do not allow one to stop driving safely. That must be what the racing stripes are all about. They are really warnings.
          As the Kzinti recruitment poster for the Armoured corps says: “Put a Tiger in the tank!”

      2. Felix_47

        I had mine cut out from under the car as well. The local police dispatcher here in Southern Ca took the report on the phone. She said they dont bother to investigate them because there are so many. With these new 20V Sawzalls from China they can get them out so easily. BTW these saws make any bike lock useless if someone wants the bike. These saws make most locks useless. They cost about 150 bucks and are available at everywhere from Wal Mart to Home Depot.

  20. fresno dan

    May God Save Us From Economists The New Republic

    The anti-Economicist urtext was published in 1944 by Karl Polanyi, an émigré Austrian socialist then teaching at Bennington. The Great Transformation blamed World War II on the “utopian” delusion that society’s needs could be subordinated to those of the market economy. Rejecting both the Marxian notion that class conflict propelled social progress and the classical liberal belief that market forces were rooted in nature, Polanyi said economics was created by society and must be made to serve its needs. Yet society insisted on believing the opposite, that “the individual should respect economic law even if it happened to destroy him…. Nothing obscures our social vision as effectively as the economistic prejudice.”
    In 1991, Larry Summers, then chief economist at the World Bank, said that “the laws of economics, it’s often forgotten, are like the laws of engineering. There’s only one set of laws and they work everywhere.”
    um, Larry, No. The “laws” of economics don’t exist, and to the extent there are any economic tenets, they are simply a fashion, legend, myth, folklore.

    1. Mildred Montana

      Thank you for that. I read most of the article but not all, for the simple reason that no one can convince me that macro-economics at this stage of its evolution is anything more than a junk science (or profession).

      However, I did get a good laugh out of this sentence: “In addressing matters of economic policy, it’s the best we have until something better comes along.”

      Now that’s funny. That’s like the ancients saying, “We know there’s something wrong with Ptolemaic epicycles but we’re stickin’ with ’em cuz nobody’s figured this thing out yet.”

      One never knows where one’s chuckles will come from.

      1. Mildred Montana

        I should add, lest readers think I misunderstood the article, “May God Save Us From Economists” is not the indictment of economics the title would imply. The writer seems to be indicting only what he considers “fringe” economics. Here’s what he thinks of “accepted” macro-economics:

        “Let me state before proceeding further that I harbor no ill will toward the economics profession—some of my best friends, etc.—nor toward mainstream economics as practiced, say, at the Congressional Budget Office (founded in 1974) or the Federal Reserve.”

        So the article is really an example of eating cake and having it too.

      2. semper loquitur

        “In addressing matters of economic policy, it’s the best we have until something better comes along.”

        Several months back there was an article posted on the site in which a professor, I believe he was some kind of scientist, was opining about the use of algorithms in determining eligibility for tenure. After discussing the numerous problems with the idea, he arrived at a similar conclusion to that above, essentially it’s better than nothing. Not only was he ignoring that there is an entire history of tenure being granted by other means but he was ignoring the fact that inserting algorithms into the process could quite possibly be worse. My takeaway was that he was fetishizing data and automation over human interactions.

      3. Jeremy Grimm

        I do not have a link — I recall reading or being told that Ptolemaic epicycles worked reasonably well at predicting the motions of the planets. However, what passes for macro-economics these days has not proven especially accurate in its abilities at predicting the current or future state of the economy.

        1. Grebo

          Epicycles are great at describing things. Steve Keen used to show a video of epicycles drawing a picture of Mickey Mouse. The trouble is that since they can describe anything they can explain nothing.

      4. jrkrideau

        That’s like the ancients saying, “We know there’s something wrong with Ptolemaic epicycles but we’re stickin’ with ’em cuz nobody’s figured this thing out yet.”

        From what I little I know about the history of astronomy that was literally true in the late middle ages and early Renaissance.

      5. Anthony G Stegman

        The article is quite good. I recommend reading the entire article. Very informative. Not at all an opinion piece.

    2. Wukchumni

      Economists (careful now, daddy-o graduated from the University of Lausanne with a degree in economics…) are for the most part:

      ‘Dismal Scientologists’

    1. Grebo

      This story is the first one for the newly-created investigative desk at the Kyiv Independent.

      …and probably the last. (Kyiv Independent is a NED front.)

    1. nippersdad

      There are some referenda on the ballot here in Georgia that I need to look up and that may change my mind about not voting at all this election, but the urge to go and vote for Herschel is almost irresistable. Such a valuable addition to the clown show that is the Georgia delegation cannot be disregarded lightly.

      I have gotten such a charge out of MTG’s “Jewish space lasers” that I almost cannot imagine a world in which we don’t have Herschel chiming in. If one cannot be governed properly, one can at least be properly amused at it.

      1. JBird4049

        I’m sorry, “Jewish space lasers?” Is this something I missed from The Protocols of the Elders of Zion??

    2. Mildred Montana

      A talking head on CNN this morning said this: “I love hot mikes; you get the truth.”

      Oops. I got the sense that she immediately realized the gravity of her unintentional honesty. I am sure she will be reprimanded for that faux-pas.

      Sad times, when the only truth from Washington is accidental.

  21. Wukchumni

    The surprisingly chilled bear market FT
    My bear market is hopping, saw a 75 pound cub just off the road yesterday, my 12th sighting this year, a brownish model.

  22. flora

    re: Wile E. Coyote Moment as Tech Goes Off the Cliff – John Authers, Bloomberg

    Thanks for this link. With FANG charts! Good read.

  23. Roger Blakely

    Excess risk for acute myocardial infarction mortality during the COVID-19 pandemic Journal of Medical Virology (Rev Kev).

    How many relatively young people do you know of who have either died of heart attacks or had cardiovascular issues (like stroke) that you wouldn’t have expected given their age? I can think of a bunch of them.

    No one blamed COVID. I, however, think that COVID had a lot to do with it.

    But don’t worry. It’s endemic now. It’s just like a cold or flu. Numbers are down. It’s over. We probably won’t have a bad surge this winter. If you’re still worried about it, just go get your bivalent booster.

  24. semper loquitur

    Here’s an interesting piece on Medium about the parapsychological research of J.B. Rhine by the occult historian, and occultist, Mitch Horowitz:

    The Enduring Legacy of Parapsychologist J.B. Rhine

    The references that he and millions of others encounter today call Rhine’s trials polluted and unreliable. “Rhine’s results have never been duplicated by the scientific community,” Wikipedia reports, “…It was revealed that Rhine’s experiments into extrasensory perception (ESP) contained methodological flaws.” References to “flaws” or “errors” appear eight times in the article.

    But the data tell a different story, one that polemical skeptics have rendered difficult to discern. To find it, and Rhine’s real legacy, requires dialing back the clock for a moment before returning to the researcher’s efforts — and extraordinary evidence.

    Did you know there is a group of self-described “guerilla skeptics” who make it a point to over-edit anyone making claims about the paranormal on Wikipedia, evidence and arguments be d@mned? I know I’m shocked………

    Mitch Horowitz is an interesting cat. He’s published a number of books, has written for the NYTs, is a PEN award winning historian, and is a practicing Magician:

    1. KD

      What kills me, ESP or not, is the placebo (and the nocebo) effect is a well-documented phenomenon. If you think something is medicine, it will act medicinally. If you think something is cursed, it will act like it is cursed.

      For drug approvals, you have to show the drug is more effective than placebo.

      Well, if you are looking for the power of mind over matter, its right there kicking you in the face. Nor is it clear how it could possibly square with reductionist account of consciousness.

      1. semper loquitur

        Yes, exactly, and even more specifically when you think, you form neurons related to those thoughts, literally thought becoming matter. If not, where are the neurons that formed the neurons that formed the neurons that formed the neurons that formed the neurons that are formed when we think or encounter something new? For the materialist, it’s all turtles, baby, turtles…

        1. JBird4049

          It seems that science, or rather parts of science, is distorted into the religion of scientism with materialism as its doctrine and has adherents just as fanatical as the worst of the Christians and the Muslims. (Or Free Market Capitalism or Communism) It is not the ideology or beliefs, but the same unyielding, blinkered “thinking.”

          Funny, in being so vigorous in defending orthodox science, they use the same methods of the anti-science proponents as well as discard the scientific method itself.

  25. lyman alpha blob

    RE: Neo-Nazi ‘Building White Ethnostate’ in Maine Now Working With Local Extremist Group

    Just read the article, never having heard of this guy before despite being a Maine resident for decades, and somehow I’m still not quaking in my boots in fear. In fact, I’m quite tired of these fear-mongering articles about “white supremacists”. Most people understand how to deal with these situations without the woke crowd chiming in.

    There is a big wave of African immigration hitting Maine right now. It is causing problems. However about 20 years ago there was a similar wave of immigrants coming to the Lewiston-Auburn area. In response to that, out-of-state neo-nazi type agitators arranged a protest and were met by significantly more Mainers letting them know in no uncertain terms that they were not welcome here. Maine dealt with the issues then without a bunch of wokesters on the interwebs telling us what to think, and I’m sure we’ll deal with the issues again now.

    There was a big push to get Libertarians to move to NH several years ago and take over that state. The best they were able to accomplish is temporarily taking over a small town or two causing a spike in bear attacks- I suspect these clowns will flame out in a similar manner.

    And I’m really getting sick and tired of reading quotes like this one –

    “…[Maine] was already an attractive place for neo-Nazis as one of the whitest places in America…”

    – when they’re said as if this fact were a bad thing and the result of some deliberate policy, which is how I took this snippet. Must there be demographic quotas for every single nation or state or county or town or neighborhood and if percentages deviate from the mean, then those areas are de facto “racist” enclaves? And if so, how many white people need to move to India or Africa or China or Latin America and displace the current populations to set things straight?

    This idea that race is a social construct and not a genetic reality (something I agree with), but at the same time we must be constantly judging everyone on race-based criteria really makes my head hurt.

    1. Anthony G Stegman

      One thing that needs to be said over and over is the simple fact that there is only one race – the human race. There is no separate white race, separate black race, separate oriental race, etc…Those who thinks so are ignorant.

      1. foghorn longhorn

        Just turn your hands over and look at the palms, they are all the same color.

        Black, white, brown, yellow, green, doesn’t matter.

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